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Medical issues can be a challenge in the best of circumstances. For abuse survivors, dealing with health problems can present special challenges. Triggers, low self esteem, fear of authority, body issues, and touch can all add to the mix when addressing medical problems and undergoing treatment.
Dealing with medical problems after abuse can stir all sorts of things. Fear of doctors and dentists are not uncommon. The question of how to put appropriate trust in medical personnel while taking responsibility for your own health is a skill that must be learned. Becoming aware of all your options and making wise treatment decisions are important. How and when to disclose an abuse history to your medical care team is another issue that must be considered.
Misa Leonessa shares her thoughts and experience in living with several chronic health issues, including a genetic bleeding disease, and the challenges she has faced through many doctor visits, medical procedures, and many surgeries. She has learned how and when to use western medicine (it has saved her life more than once), and when to find healthy alternatives. Her journey has taught her how to own her body and the ultimate decisions for what will be done to it, by whom, and when. Through taking responsibility for her own health, she has been able to use nutrition, exercise, and other interventions to greatly minimize the need for more tests and surgeries. Misa knows the struggle with health issues from a survivor’s perspective and is learning how to thrive in the midst of many challenges.
“When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.” -- Pittacus Lore Without hope we cannot act to change something. If we want to move from surviving trauma into thriving lives, hope must be within sight. Where there is no hope, there will be no transformation, only despair. Hope is only as good as the thing that we put our hope in. Hope is more than wishful thinking, it is something we choose to believe in because it is based on promise and a reason for our hopeful vision. Rob Patterson, Vicar of Redeemer Anglican Church, says that “If our hope is sure then hope transcends our circumstances. We no longer have to allow our circumstances to dictate our well-being. No amount of hardship or suffering can crush it.” Join us Saturday, June 22 on Beyond Abuse Radio for a discussion on the role that hope plays in healing from trauma and the difference between hope and magical thinking. Rob Patterson has led musical worship since 1995. He has served as a pastor since 2004. In 2012 Rob helped found Redeemer Anglican Church in Santa Cruz, California where he currently serves as Vicar. Rob’s passion is leading people into a genuine response of worship in light of who God is and what he’s done. Rob has recorded two worship albums. The latest of which, Found, was released in January of 2009. Rob has been married to his wife Julie since 2001. They have two daughters, Lyric and Story, and another baby on the way! You can learn more about Rob’s music at robpattersonmusic.com, and more about Rob’s church at RedeemerAnglican.com.
“Did you think you were immune to this? Did you think you could escape without infection? You do all you're able to resist just to avoid the danger of rejection. Memory warns you of the past when it all went wrong. When you think your life is shattered and there's no way to be fixed again, love heals your heart. At a time you least expected, you're alive like you have never been. Love heals your heart.” (Third Day, Love Heals Your Heart) Indeed, love does heal. Yet love requires trust and vulnerability, which can create a conundrum for abuse survivors. Join special guest and spiritual director, Bonnie Wolf as we discuss the way that love heals and the challenges of learning to give and receive that love.
Helen Keller said, “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” What kind of faith did it take for Helen to trust what she could not see? Survivors of abuse likewise must learn how to have faith, for faith requires trust. Discerning what is worthy of putting our faith in is a skill to be acquired. Henry Ward Beecher calls faith, “spiritualized imagination.” This week we will be talking about what faith is, its power to help heal our traumas, and how to increase our faith-filled thinking.
It’s no secret that play increases learning and creativity. We also know that play helps build healthy teamwork and intimacy. But did you know that we use play to learn how to give and receive, how to trust, how to be kind, and how to heal? Play can help people grow and develop a sense of self-esteem and can help us to recover from trauma and allow those parts of us that are arrested in development to grow into healthy adults. Play is called the greatest gift of childhood, and can continue to be a great gift to adults. Join Beyond Abuse Radio this Thursday as we explore the world of play and how it can help us become whole people.
Laughter adds joy to life and helps relieve stress. It strengthens relationships and helps defuse conflict. Through humor we can ease our anxieties and fears. In our last two shows we have talked about how laughter and humor can help us to heal. This week we will give you some specific ways to see the lighter side of life and to take yourself a little less seriously. Expect some good laughs and a whole bunch of ways to bring humor into challenging situations. Recharge and reduce your stress by tuning into this week’s episode of Beyond Abuse Radio!
Laughter is not as far from tears as you might expect. In order to laugh, we have to be connected to our feelings. Being able to cry means we are able to laugh as well. The more we allow ourselves to be emotionally present the more we can enjoy all the fullness of life. Laughter feels good and can bring us great release. This week on Beyond Abuse Radio we will talk about the healing experiences of laughter and imbibe in some of the greatest medicine known to man.
We have a surprise guest tonight! Chiquita will be sharing about healing humor and I'm sure we'll have a laugh or 10! Chiquita, also known as God's Girl, is a single Mom of three beautifully gifted, anointed and talented children. Licensed to ministry at the age of 17 and ordained later, she has served the Body of Christ in various capacities. With the graduation of her last child Chiquita recently launched her Full-time Ministry, God's Girl Ministries. God uses her in diverse areas of ministry including: Revivalist, Conference & Workshop Speaker, Comedienne, Play Writing/Actress, Singing and Songwriting, Author, Certified Christian Counseling and Mentoring. Having survived domestic violence among other life challenges, Chiquita ministers with a wisdom beyond her years as she brings humor and practical application to every presentation she gives. This Minister/Psalmist is a sold out vessel for God and will be the 1st to admit that God is not just her Father but her ALL and without HIM she can do nothing. http://www.godsgirlministries.com/ Did you know that laughter can lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, reduce inflammation, and release muscle tension? Arnold Glasgow calls laughter the “tranquilizer with no side effects.” Laughter therapy is appearing on the scene in many medical facilities as people recognize the healing properties attendant with a good belly laugh. Laughter has been called the “shock absorber that eases the blows of life.” Join us as we discuss the benefits of humor and joviality in trauma healing and have a good laugh or two along the way, this THURSDAY at 7:30 p.m. on Beyond Abuse Radio.
Joy can be an elusive thing. What is it exactly? Happiness? Pleasure? Some see joy as a goal in itself; others find joy on the way to living authentically. Can joy be given and received? Can it be lost, or found again? Our special guest, Shawn McCain says joy is risky. He would know because his live exudes joy. Learn how you can lay a hold of joy and how it can help you to heal from what ails you this Saturday on Beyond Abuse Radio.
Shawn Mccain is a priest at Redeemer Anglican Church in Santa Cruz, California. Shawn worked as an hardware engineer for 5 years upon receiving a call into ordained ministry. Having ministered to youth for over 10 years, Shawn earned an M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary and was ordained as a priest. In 2012 He helped plant Redeemer Anglican Church. Shawn has been married to his wife Michelle since 2004 and has four kids, Mateo, Maddison, Aubri and Braelyn.
Join Beyond Abuse Radio as we speak with producer, Valerie Gibson, about the making of an important film, Pursuit of Truth, and the impact she hopes to have upon the US justice system for survivors of abuse. It is a “splendid movie,” both angering and inspiring, as it addresses a crime that is usually committed behind closed doors without witnesses. Child sexual abuse remains in the dark because children typically are unable to speak about what is happening to them, and the inability to come forward frequently continues into adulthood. Thus, despite its epidemic proportions in this country, CSA remains in the shadows. But winds of change are stirring, according to Valerie. There is a growing movement to change the justice system’s fundamental approach to survivors’ cases. Tune in to find out exactly how change is being sought, and slowly won, for abuse survivors.
Special Guest, Karinah Guzman, Heroic SurvivorKarinah sits in the court room facing her perpetrator uncle trying to answer the question she was just asked. “Why did you wait this long?” She hadn’t waited the 20 to 40 years that it would take most of us to have the strength and courage to take her abuser to court. She was only 20 when she took the stand to testify. And then she did something else. She participated in the documentary, Pursuit of Truth, talking publically about her experience. Now, she is going to talk to YOU, Beyond Abuse Radio audience about what she has done. Find out why Karinah’s sister says that “she showed me the meaning of what it is to be strong,” on the last episode of Justice for Survivors.
Justice. Is it more than a pipe dream for survivors of childhood abuse, or can it become reality? From the issue of statutes of limitation to the grueling process of the deposition and trial, seeking justice as a survivor is a challenge. Over the past few years it has become clear that childhood sexual abuse is more prevalent than previously known and more and more common myths are beginning to get dispelled. Less than 3% of abusers ever receive adequate penalties for their crimes. It is important for a victim of childhood sexual abuse to understand that you are not alone, and that the abuse was not your fault. The decision to pursue legal action against an abuser is a difficult one. Join Misa with sexual abuse attorney, Michael Kinslow for an eye-opening discussion about the role of justice in the healing process for survivors this Saturday, May 11 on Beyond Abuse Radio.
Michael Kinslow is a trial lawyer. Inspired by Robert Kennedy’s call to dedicate ourselves “to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world,” Kinslow represents people who have been physically, emotionally and psychologically harmed by others. Since becoming admitted to the practice of law in California in 2005, his principal area of work is representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
This work has taken Kinslow into courtrooms throughout the state and across the nation, helping to stem the damage caused to his clients and society by the epidemic of childhood sexual abuse. These efforts include both the litigation of individual cases and active participation in complex coordinated proceedings against large corporations who provided pedophiles access to children.
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